Ted’s essays

Appreciating California Highway 1 in the good old days

I grew up in idyllic Sonoma County that nature graced with beauty and interest in every direction from border to border. Lightly traveled mountain roads, river roads and Highway 1 skirting the rugged coastline were perfect for 20-something sports car and bike aficionados. Running solo more often than not, I gloried in the capabilities of my series of old-school Porsches and a sweet-handling BSA 650. Rarely did the destination have any significance; the journey was everything. I was leading a sports car tour to the Big Sur campground for a weekend of watching premium sports car racing at Laguna Seca. This group of young couples had shoehorned our gear into 50s and 60s topless cars with similar luggage capacity to […]

taking a time out

I am cutting back on my webpost side to regain more of my other Renaissance Man aspects. I am master of four websites. I am still wrestling with cutting back on the out-of-pocket financial costs without resolution, but certainly can pare down the time I have been donating to this slice of my life without a solution to the expense question. Woodwork, metalwork, strengthening my 2-way comms, building physical things, making music, reading, two-wheel-riding, wrenching, drawing, artistic painting and more have been calling to me – and I have answered their calls less than I want. Most of the posting, writing, research and creating I do will be at Bitterroot Bugle .com This site will drop down my priority […]

shop heat

One of the real treats in my life is a heated shop. I have a lovely collection of tools and workspaces enabling me to putter with woodwork, metalwork and a bit of mechanical maintenance. I am not great at any of it, but pretty darn good at solving the little challenges and opportunities life sends my way. I have spent some time turning my Jack-of-all-Trades persona into a way to make an honest living, but only at the wrong place at the wrong time. The Fixer business did not blossom, but my website The Fixer.biz is still kicking around as a place where I document some of my creations and share ideas I have come up with. I wish I […]

last ride of the season -?

The weather prognosticators are predicting significant drops in temperature and increases in that frozen water thing Montana likes to do to us. Meanwhile, my new-to-me 2009 BMW R1200RS-P (patrol or police model) bike has way-too-few me miles on it. Thursday I pushed all my ‘get the estate ready for winter’ chores aside to grab what may turn out to be my last highway munching ride of the season. The Iron Butt (long distance motorcyclist) guys may snicker, but 160 miles was way better than spending all winter wishing I had taken it out one more time. The roads were excellent, the patrol bike was a great pleasure to ride, the weather suited my clothes perfectly and the scenery was […]

Who am I?

sailing the San Francisco Bay on my Nacra 5.8 catamaranThis is an update to a post I published a few years ago. You can go see that one if you wish: https://www.teddunlap.net/who-am-i/, but I republished it below to save you the trip. A little bit older for sure, slower, wiser, and now with a few more experiences under my belt. Ohmygosh, I am probably 15 to 20 pounds lighter too, having discovered fasting as a healing and fitness tool. I have also worked on the estate, which now suits us a lot better than it did in January of 2019. I got to scratch my sports car track time itch for the first time in 35 years. This year I […]

settled in to my domain

A main driver of my life is gaining control of my homestead, estate, working spaces and equipment. After each move from one to another, the list of urgent/critical projects is immediately followed by the crucial, then important and so on until I reach the settled in phase. In each case there is some marker that gives me the feeling I have arrived. Seven years into our Bunkhouse occupancy, I finally hit what I think is that marker. I am comfortable that I know what spaces I want to irrigate, have them relatively easy to wet and no longer have to disconnect hoses, move pipes and reconnect to run my mower around the yard. This evolved irrigation system will be reasonably […]

They followed me home. Can I keep them?

Time is short buy the motorcycle. Or in my case this month, buy both of them. 1) In the Bitterroot we spend Spring to Fall watching an endless stream of motorcyclists passing through enjoying the world from the saddles of their motorcycles. I am always envious of them, even when they ride boulevarders of no serious interest to me. They all fill me with powerful remembered emotions of loving life astride a motorcycle that few of us get to live. 2) My crystal ball tells me we will very soon be living in 3rd-World conditions – At Best. In the 3rd-World successful entrepreneurs and the better-off impoverished use motorcycles. Next level down are bicycles, then good-old shoe leather, usually […]

Tennis tales from the only guy the coach couldn’t beat

My Dad loved tennis and gave me excellent private lessons. The skills and techniques he taught me were a great foundation. Tennis is a very fast-moving strategy and technique game that I was uniquely well suited for. In a graduating class of 1,000 and a school of almost 3,000 students, I was not only among the smallest boys there, I was the third best tennis player in the school … including the tennis coach in that pool. Among the more important bits in tennis are hitting the ball where your opponent is not, making it as difficult as possible for him to return the ball, striving to keep him off balance, doing the unexpected… an undercut short shot just […]

my career as a bugler

I once was a bugler for the United States Air Force. The government paid me $98 a month plus cheesy room and board, officially making me a professional musician. It is a bit of a convoluted story, but here we go: When I turned 19 years old, all healthy males my age who were not politically connected or fully engaged in college were whisked off into the army or marines to tramp around in a far away jungle and shoot at or be shot by complete strangers. None of that appealed to me so I enlisted in the air force. In basic training we took a written test intended to gauge our trainability for various job assignments. I tested […]

Gone RACING

I recently posted Gone Fishing using that phrase as a metaphor for my particular breakaway from the normal, everyday life. Here I use a much more accurate title. Racing is most accurately described as a competition wherein one tries to go faster than another. I will not be in a competition, but rather just running the track as fast as this man and my GT50 machine care to go – which is a whole bunch faster than normal people would drive within their comfort zones. I expect to get my ’87 Honda CRX around 115-120mph in the straight between TURN 15 and TURN 1, before braking hard for a corner likely to require me to be going 35-45 in […]

Gone Fishing

Normally clear studio surfaces speak of a cluttered life I am pulling out of my garage in one week… heading south to Utah Motorsports Complex for National Auto Sports Association’s March Madness. I am transitioning from The Beast to a much nicer, newer Z-71 optioned Suburban, The Z-Wagon. The Beast had an antenna farm on the back 1/3 of its roof and capability of running half a dozen amateur radios at a time on numerous different frequencies. I am putting some time, thought, energy and money into adding one multi-band radio to The Z-Wagon. Additionally there are numerous mechanical fix-ups that go with replacement vehicles. I initiated and had to manage a local emergency-preparedness radio exercise I called “Light Up […]

Dance, Freddy, Dance

When I was a Daddy, I would tell bed-time stories to my daughters … made up on the spur of the moment, out of my head, just as my daddy did before me. Fast forward a bunch of years to a mid-twenties daughter who needed artistic expression and purpose in her life. So I wrote a story about my brother and asked her to illustrate it. This is our collaboration. I am happy enough with the result that I fancy it could be a published book … if anyone could share with me how to take the next steps, I would appreciate that boost. It already served its designed purpose. Anything past that is gravy. P.S. The formatting here […]